Let’s Talk Stroke Prevention


We often hear of how we can take better care of ourselves to prevent heart attacks. Here, we want to discuss the issue of the “brain attack,” or stroke. Research is showing an increase in the number of strokes, especially among relatively young women. Because one cannot predict the onset of this event, there is ample reason to look to prevention.

Lifestyle Factors in Stroke (and Stroke Prevention)

The primary risk factor for stroke is smoking. In addition to being a risk factor in and of itself, it has been said that smoking also exacerbates the other risks associated with stroke. These include:

  • Excess weight.
  • Excess alcohol consumption. Drinking should be kept to a minimum. That’s one drink a day for a woman, and two for a man. Remember! A drink consists of 1.5 ounces of liquor, a 12-ounce beer, or 5 ounces of wine. Saving up for the weekend doesn’t count as cutting back.
  • High sodium intake. Healthy adults should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium each day. Older adults, African Americans, and individuals with health conditions such as diabetes should limit intake to 1,500 or less.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. We tend to sit most of the day. After work, we go home and sit more because we just want to relax. However, less screen time and more movement add up to some significant prevention against stroke.
  • Poor diet. Our fast-food habits may be catching up with us. Stroke prevention is best achieved with more vegetables and healthy, unsaturated fats and less red meat and sugar.
  • Migraines may be an indicator for increased risk of stroke, especially in women. Specifically, it is migraines with aura, or visual disturbance, that create concern.
  • Hormone therapies, such as hormonal birth control and hormonal replacement therapy have both been associated with an increased risk of stroke.

Here is a bit of good news about risk factors for stroke: they are cumulative. The more unattended factors one has, the greater the risk of stroke. On the other hand, taking steps to mitigate one risk, such as stopping the use of tobacco products or lowering cholesterol, has a positive effect on the overall risk of stroke.

Premier Cardiology Associates has offices in Richmond Hill, Forest Hills, and Lake Success. Learn more about our services at (516) 437-5600.

Posted in: Stroke

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